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FRS and GMRS hand held walkie talkies

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Hello folks,

Currently researching the market for future use in the Philippines.  My immediate concern would be maintaining contact with family members during brown/black outs which may affect power to cell site towers.  Are walkie talkies suitable substitutes in light of limited range and noise (chatter)?  Any pros and cons of a particular brand? Thank you in advance for your comments.

Respectfully -- Jake

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--- Quote from: JAKE on December 30, 2009, 12:50:22 AM ---Hello folks,
Currently researching the market for future use in the Philippines.  My immediate concern would be maintaining contact with family members during brown/black outs which may affect power to cell site towers.  Are walkie talkies suitable substitutes in light of limited range and noise (chatter)?  Any pros and cons of a particular brand? Thank you in advance for your comments.
Respectfully -- Jake

--- End quote ---
Handheld portable walkie talkies only has a line of sight less than a mile range and are the same principle as the CB radios, but as a good cheap backup look into the 12 volt DC CB radios with a home base unit, if they still make them! You can probably rig an antenna booster to get a longer range, but I believe they are only good for by line of sight signal! Or UHF,HF or VHF portable hand held radios, maybe expensive though but has a longer range because they aren\'t a line of sight type range, but of bouncing off the signal into the Ionosphere I believe it\'s called or long distances across the open ocean, these types of radios requires an FCC license in any country! Some FCC licensed ham radio operators out there somewhere may give us more info about radios and their restrictions!   

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Thanks Art for your inputs -- I was thinking about a CB unit installed in a vehicle linked with a base station at home of residence.  But I believe even small antennas mounted on vehicle/home would attract unwanted attention from the local ordinance and neighbors that may think I\'m too mayabang (conceited, show off, whatever).  I like to maintain a low profile.  Whereas the use of small discreet walkie talkies, although range is limited to LOS would be more appropriate.  As you may know, recent events in the Philippines during natural and man made disasters have overloaded/disabled most cell phone and land line services.  Besides setting up a predetermined meeting place for all family members to verify their presence (and not jeopardize your own life by going into a burning house to save your wife for example and she is already outside), what other form of communications are available?   On a lighter note, a more typical and daily scenario (for me anyway) would be my wife paging me on our private FRS-GMRS channel, notifying me to pick her up after hours of shopping.  And of course the nearest beer house should be within LOS range for me to respond quickly -- can Filipino time be applied here? 

Respectfully - Jake

Lee2:
I am an advanced class licensed Amateur radio operator in the US but I cannot operate in the Philippines without permission and since we do not live there full time, I have not bothered to jump through the hoops required to get permission to operate. From what I have read CB seems to be allowed in the Philippines but the GMRS or FRS radios may not. If a person wishes to operate any type of radio within the Philippines then I would highly recommend that they send a letter to the Philippine Embassy within their own country and ask the regulations and be specific about what bands and frequencies they wish to operate. I have tried to do research online and have come up short what would be allowed and what might not. While I do see CB\'s for sale in some listings, that does not necessarily mean they are legal to use and I have been told that those GMRS or FRS radios are not legal but I cannot find anything written to say yes or no and it is not important enough for me to write the letter to the Embassy to make sure I would not get arrested or deported for operating outside a band that is legal. Walk on tip toes when doing things within the Philippines because it might not be a stretch to be considered a terrorist or troublew maker of sorts if found operating in a band that they are known to use.

As for Ham radio, they operate in different portions of some bands than we do here in the states. I refuse to take the chance without a letter of authorization.

Here is the only thing I have found and their radios appear to be different than ours.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Radio_Service

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Thank you Lee for your extensive research regarding the authorized use of radio equipment within the Philippines.  The link you provided: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Radio_Service was very useful.  I scrolled down at the bottom and clicked on reference 6 (LICENSING GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE SHORT RANGE RADIO SERVICE (SRRS).  I believe imported as well as locally manufactured devices can be purchased along with a permit from any dealer that is authorized by the National Telecommunication Commission, Philippines.

Thank you once again -- Jake

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